The Bugaloos 1.2 – The Great Voice Robbery

We’re in a similar routine to the early episodes of Pufnstuf, where we assure Daniel that the villain won’t get away with her rotten scheme, but he still finds her unnerving and hides his eyes. Then the rescue starts him giggling and laughing. This time out, they ensnare Funky Rat with a whacking great mousetrap that snaps on his snout. He loved that.

I love how the show makes Martha Raye into such an object of mockery. Unlike Witchiepoo, who didn’t like anybody and vice versa, Benita Bizarre is convinced that she’s wonderful and amazing and the only thing wrong with her latest record, “Snowflakes Keep Falling on My Skull,” is Funky Rat’s poor engineering skills. But when she gets the idea to swipe Joy’s voice with some techno-gadget, she’s only self-aware enough to think that DJ Peter Platter will perhaps like her music just a little more now.

Everybody had a crush on Caroline Ellis, who played Joy. She has kind of a thankless job this episode, silently lip-syncing to Martha Raye’s lines while letting body language, and the other Bugaloos’ overreactions to her banshee voice, convey the awfulness of the situation for a couple of scenes. It is kind of odd that they ran an episode like this so early in the series, instead of developing the Bugaloos’ characters a little more first, but we immediately know that she’s the most sensible and sweet-natured of the group. After all, those boys just want to get out of chores and housework to go surfing.

photo credit: Voices of East Anglia

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